Short and sweet this time, just like the fight should be.
Deontay Wilder returns on Saturday night, headlining a card nearly as loaded as one of Conor Benn’s steroid cocktails*.
After a tough two years, in which he suffered the only two losses on his record, back-to-back, Wilder will face Robert Helenius at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre. This is a credible comeback fight, especially to all those who remember Fury’s comeback run of Seferi and Pianeta, and sees the majority of fans breathe a collective sigh of relief, welcoming again to the upper echelons of heavyweight boxing a man with 41 KOs from 42 professional victories.
Helenius (31-3) comes in to the contest with two resurgent wins, over previously undefeated contender Adam Kownacki, and his record also includes a UD loss to the grossly overrated heavyweight Dillian Whyte. Certain quarters of boxing media and fandom have given Helenius a reasonable chance of prevailing on Saturday, but they really ought to know better. Despite the soul searching, the conclusive losses to Fury and the advance of 'father time', a Wilder even at 70% of the version which contested Fury should have more than enough to overwhelm the challenge.
Indeed, all we are clamouring for here really is another one of those big shots, administered via hypodermic needle and a Dr Usman right hand into the bare buttock of… Sorry, I seem to relapsed once again into the Benn saga.
In a time of geopolitical, economic and adverse-analytical-finding uncertainty, those favouring reassurance and continuity will be hoping that everyone fulfils their role on Saturday night. That Wilder will land another devastating right hand. That Helenius will have the good measure to swallow it and disappear. And that we can then return to talking about placing Wilder in marquee fights – perhaps against Joshua, perhaps against Usyk. Either way, it will be great to see him swiveling jaws, once again.
*at the time of writing Benn’s positive test for clomifene, a female fertility drug and banned substance under VADA regulations, both in and out of competition, has not been overturned, invalidated or even explained. He remains subject to further investigation by UKAD and BBBoC. Matchroom and Wasserman continue to try and bury the entire thing under legal injunction and a public muddying of the waters; IFL have been criticised for their impotent questioning of Hearn; Adam Smith and Gareth Davies have piled in; ‘Buncey’ seems to be questioning his own journalistic integrity; and Conor Benn’s defence seems to centre on releasing Malcolm X memes via social media. It really is no longer ‘only in America’.
Deontay Wilder (28-0, 15 KOs)
Tyson Fury – LOSS – KO (round 11)
Tyson Fury – LOSS – KO (round 7)
Luis Ortiz – WIN – KO (round 7)
Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs)
Adam Kownacki – WIN – KO (round 6)
Adam Kownacki – WIN – KO (round 4)
Mateus Osorio – WIN – KO (round 2)
Date: October 15th 2022
Time: Approx. 3.30AM Ring Walk (GMT)
Venue: Barclays Centre, Brooklyn, New York